Monday, December 14, 2009

Ecowas mulls Guinea intervention force

West African bloc Ecowas has proposed sending an "intervention force" to Guinea, whose military leader was shot and wounded earlier this month.

Ecowas official Abdel Fatau Musah told the BBC he wanted to ensure Guinea's problems did not affect its neighbours. But junta spokesman Col Moussa Keita called the idea an "assault on the authority of the state". Junta leader Capt Moussa Dadis Camara is still in hospital after the botched assassination attempt on 3 December.

Arrests and shootings

Mr Musah told the BBC's Network Africa programme that Ecowas and its partners "will not stand by while the situation in Guinea continues to deteriorate and threatens the very stability of neighbouring countries". "If the situation persists, Ecowas will have no alternative to send an intervention force," he said. But he said the force would not be purely military - rather it would include civilian observers and military officials. Col Keita dismissed the proposal, saying: "The sending of any foreign force onto Guinean soil without the government's prior authorisation will be considered as an assault on the authority of the state and on the integrity of the nation."

Last week the military launched a crackdown on anyone they believed could be linked with the plot to kill Capt Camara.The authorities say more than 100 soldiers have been arrested since the shooting. Reports from the capital, Conakry, said soldiers swept through the city rounding up civilians. Eyewitnesses told journalists of people being shot in the streets as they fled from patrols.

Guinea has been in turmoil since the military took over last December just hours after the death of long-time ruler Lansana Conte. Capt Camara initially promised to guide the country back to civilian rule, but soon dropped hints that he would stand for president himself. That led to a large protest in a Conakry sports stadium - which was brutally suppressed by the military with widespread reports of mass killings and rapes carried out by soldiers.

The crackdown was condemned by France, as well as the EU, US, the African Union and Ecowas.

  • 23, 24 December 2008 Strongman President Lansana Conte dies, Capt Camara takes over, promises 2010 election
  • 15 August 2009 Says he may stand for president
  • 28 September Soldiers kill protesters in Conakry, reports of atrocities and rapes
  • October US, EU, African Union and Ecowas impose sanctions on junta
  • 3 December Capt Camara shot in the head in apparent assassination attempt
  • 4 December Flown to Morocco for surgery

  • 1 comment:

    1. Am sorry but i think someone needs to shut that Keita guy up. This is a disgrace to Africa, when leaders start behaving like fools, just because of power. I think those people are more concerned with the money they want to embezzle than the country itself. I dont feel bad for Camara, thats the way it works in Africa its a dog eat dog world, and if Keita doesnt take time he could be the next, look at what happened to Abacha, these men never learn, shameless fools.